PIAC responded to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (the Commission) new interim authorisation granted to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and others on 24 July 2020.
We support the intent of the proposed authorisation to allow AEMO and participating parties to engage in certain conduct intended to ensure the ongoing safety, security and reliability of Australian energy systems and the integrity of wholesale markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the crisis looks set to continue into 2021 we support the new authorisation remaining valid until March next year.
We support the Commission’s reporting requirements for participating parties, particularly the requirement for a description of the issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic that the proposed conduct seeks to address and how it will be addressed.
We consider the types of conduct the authorisation allows may result in cost savings for the participating businesses as they are better able to coordinate various resources. We propose if this is the case participating businesses should pass these cost reductions through so consumers may benefit.